The best advice nearly every writer could get is to write about what you know. In the case of Bowling Green rap group Nappy Roots, that philosophy is what makes them unique. The 6-person group has taken a mix of geographic styles and their own country-fied view of black life and rode it to their first major label release on Atlantic Records, scheduled for this early next year.
When asked how they describe their sound, Big V said Reality, and B Scott added Our reality. What Nappy Roots writes and raps about, according to Big V, is what people take for granted, appreciate the essentials of life. Big V said the members, who write all the songs, are people dealing with life every day -- not gangstas, not high priests, just people who get it on.
The group has come a long way in a short period of time. Nappy Roots started in late 1996 to early 1997 (core members graduated from high school in 1993 and came to WKU). Members said they worked long and hard, often neglecting daily things like eating and classes -- just tryin' to start a dream, as B Scott described it. This exchange illustrates the scrabbling approach Nappy Roots has had toward getting to where they want to be: B Scott: We weren't born with a silver spoon -- we made it silver. The effort has paid off. Nappy Roots' first self-released CD, Country Fried Cess, helped establish the group. Nappy Roots has played shows with Digital Underground, Youngbloods, Jim Crowes, 112, Cashmoney, 8 Ball, Ruffryders, MJG, Sole, and Twista. Based on word of mouth, Atlantic Records came calling in the summer of 1998. Later that year, Nappy Roots and Atlantic signed a record deal. In 1999, Nappy Roots landed the track Riches to Ragz on the South Park movie soundtrack on Atlantic.
In addition, Nappy Roots had formed several business entities, the primary one being Deep Rooted Productions LLC. Under the Deep Rooted umbrella, there is Tree House Studios, Success Story Publishing, and the website www.deeprooted.com. These various business entities handle recording, merchandising, promotion, and other artists such as KLIENTEL. For those uninitiated to Nappy Roots, the 18-track, 70-minute-plus No Comb, No Brush, No Fade, No Perm reveals diverse feels, many changes of moods, an earning of the parental advisory on the cover, and some refreshing self-deprecating humor. Nappy Roots vary the feel of their raps, exploring different beats and rhythms. The eight rappers can cover a variety of cadences and tempos with their raps, and that enables them to handle many different types of rap tracks convincingly, as well as a wide choice of topics. The barbershop skit that opens the album is reminiscent of the barbershop in the Eddie Murphy movie Coming To America, with barbers and patrons raggin' on Nappy Roots (I hear they weak as hell, How could they have a record deal? Look at the damn shoes that they wear). Other winks and nudges are sprinkled here and there on the album, particularly on Nappy Hour and Pissy Er' Day. And then there's the, er, candid male-female dialogue in Sex Talk.
Nappy Roots shows where they come from on tracks like Country Dialect, which aggressively presents country culture; the group can rap just as much about family as about crew, about porches as much as the streets. There's also the confrontational City Slicka vs. Country Nigga pitting Fish Scales against a Brooklyn-accented antagonist. But the Nappy Roots manifesto may well be the dramatic track Talkin' Bout, where they hold court on the life they live and see around them, with lines like I'm talkin' bout light bread and ramen noodles/When you broke, this ain't a thing to you. Following that track is Toast To The Pain which eloquently hits home about life's strugglings. Another highlight in a similar vein is Uglyfathahometeam where the rapper knows he's losing in his efforts to do good: The Lord hates me/The Devil loves me/It's looking ugly fa tha home team.
also try: www.deeprooted.com www.atlantic-records.com/nappyroots www.mp3.com/nappyroots www.mp3.com/klientel klientel.iuma.com